Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills has welcomed the publication of the long-awaited report on teacher supply problems in Ireland. Deputy Byrne added that Minister Bruton needs to follow through with action to ensure the issues raised in the report are addressed.

Deputy Byrne said, “This report has been sitting on Minister Bruton’s desk since his appointment to the Department of Education. I have raised teacher supply issues on a number of occasions in the Dáil and pressed the need for this report to be published. It’s positive to see the Minister deciding to finally publish the report, but it comes late in the day.

“Currently the system for training teachers is unplanned, uncoordinated and takes little regard of the requirement of schools and trainee teachers themselves. This is leading to significant problems in the education system as there is an over-supply of teachers for some subjects while there aren’t enough teachers to fill vacancies in other fields, particularly for modern language classes. Unfortunately Minister Bruton has been far too slow in coming to terms with this problem.

“I will be studying this report in detail to determine the actions that need to be taken to deal with the teacher supply problems. I have already called on Minister Bruton to carry out an in-depth audit to determine which subject areas need greater number of teachers. This is something which he should act on without delay. It’s important to recognise that pupil enrollments at second level are expected to increase by 8% by 2020. Accordingly the teacher supply problem will be exacerbated in the years should the Government fail to act.

“Minister Bruton needs to ensure that this report doesn’t just end up sitting on a shelf gathering dust. He needs to follow through with action to ensure that the teacher supply problem is dealt with,” concluded Deputy Byrne.